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Patriots add LB Eric Martin to practice squad

12.29.14 at 6:53 pm ET
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The Patriots signed linebacker Eric Martin to the practice squad on Monday. The 23-year-old Martin played 13 games for Cleveland this past season and was released on Dec. 26.

Here’s a portion of the statement from the team on the move:

Martin, 23, originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with New Orleans out of Nebraska on April 28, 2013. The 6-foot-2, 250-pounder, was released by New Orleans on Aug. 27, 2013, and was claimed off waivers by Cleveland on Aug. 28, 2013. Over the last two seasons, Martin has played in 29 games with one start and has registered 14 total tackles. He played in 13 games with one start for Cleveland in 2014 before being released last week.

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Reports: Falcons, Niners seeking interviews with Josh McDaniels for head coaching jobs

12.29.14 at 6:34 pm ET
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Both the Niners and Falcons have requested interviews with Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media.

San Francisco’s head coaching vacancy opened up after Jim Harbaugh left the Niners for the University of Michigan, while Atlanta fired coach Mike Smith earlier Monday. McDaniels, who coached the Broncos for almost two years (2009-2010) before eventually returning to Foxboro to serve as the Patrios offensive coordinator in 2012, was asked on Monday if he had any interest in being a head coach in the NFL next year.

“I haven’€™t even thought about that, to tell you the truth,” he said on a conference call with the media. “I know that this is that time of the year, but I know that there is also a procedure in place, and those things will sort themselves out. I’€™ve said a number of times I’€™m very happy here. I think I’€™ve got one of the best jobs you could possibly have, and I’€™m just trying to do the best I can here. My focus has been on the Patriots. It will stay on the Patriots right now.”

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Jets owner Woody Johnson ‘misspoke’ on Darrelle Revis comments, calls Robert Kraft to clarify

12.29.14 at 5:28 pm ET
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Earlier on Monday during his press conference announcing the firings of head coach Rex Ryan and general manger John Idzik, Jets owner Woody Johnson talked about Darrelle Revis and how he would “love” to have him back with the Jets.

“Darrelle is a great player and if I thought I could have gotten Darrelle for that, I probably would’€™ve taken him,”€ Johnson told reporters of the one-year deal Revis signed with the Patriots in March. “And it was our best judgment to do what we did. Darrelle’€™s a great player — I’€™d love for Darrelle to come back.”

Since Revis is currently under contract with the Patriots, and has a team option for next season ($20 million), the comment could be viewed as tampering. Johnson released a statement through the Jets’ official team Twitter account early Monday evening addressing his comments.

The statement read: I misspoke today when I commented on Darrelle Revis. I would never interfere in the contractual relationship of a player with another team and I should not have used those words. I called Robert Kraft this afternoon to emphasize those points.

Bill Belichick was asked of the comments of Revis by Johnson on WEEI’s Dale & Holley Monday afternoon, before the statement was released by Johnson.

“I would think that the league would look into those comments … I’m sure that’s something that they would look into,” Belichick said.

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Report: Tom Brady modifies contract to give Patriots $24 million more to spend this offseason

12.29.14 at 4:52 pm ET
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According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Tom Brady has modified his contract with the Patriots to give the team $24 million in more spending money this offseason.

The report says Brady changed the $24 million in “skill” guarantee to only “injury” guarantee, meaning Brady now would get the guaranteed money only if he were to get injured. It also says Brady can be released by the Patriots without any liability, but then would become an unrestricted free agent.

With a number of free agents for the Patriots after this season — Devin McCourty, Nate Solder, Darrelle Revis (team option for $20 million), Shane Vereen, Stephen Gostkowski and Stevan Ridley — the freed up cash could be used to keep the current Patriots on board for next season, or to go out and get free agents on the open market, or sign current players on the roster to contract extensions.

Brady is currently signed through the end of the 2017 season, with his base salary in 2015 set to go from $2 million this year, to $7 million next year. The restructuring of his deal does not change his cap hit for next season, which is $14.8 million. It is the third restructuring of his deal since March of 2012.

UPDATE 7:50 p.m.: ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss has reported Brady has also restructured his base salary for each of the next three seasons — seeing a $1 million increase in those seasons. He will now have a base salary of $8 million in 2015, $9 million in 2016 and $10 million in 2017.

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Tom Brady backing idea of Jim Harbaugh as new Michigan coach

12.29.14 at 3:48 pm ET
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In the wake of his interview with WEEI Monday morning where he expressed excitement about the possibility of Jim Harbaugh becoming the new head coach at his alma mater, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady took to Facebook Monday afternoon to apparently give Harbaugh another boost.

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What pundits were saying about Patriots on Sunday: ‘I like the Patriots going all the way’

12.29.14 at 12:53 pm ET
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Here’€™s what the national pundits were saying about the Patriots before and after their loss to the Bills on Sunday:

Michael Irvin on NFL Network after the game: “œI like the Patriots going all the way.”

Deion Sanders on NFL Network after the game: “I love [the Patriots] because of Tom Brady. I love them because they have two corners that can really play the game. I love them because their defense is really nice; Bill Belichick will take away the most potent thing that you have. And they’€™re going to get a week’€™s rest. [Rob] Gronkowski arguably is the best tight end in the game. All they need is a little running game. … Let’€™s get ready for the AFC Championship game.”

Kurt Warner on NFL Network before the game: “I believe there is a formula that’€™s a roadblock for the Patriots: that’€™s getting after Tom Brady. When you get after Tom Brady, this team changes. … If [another AFC team] can show up and get after Tom Brady and mess up the timing of things, I think you have a chance. Other than that, I’€™m not sure there are enough pieces for any one team to beat the Patriots at home.”

Rodney Harrison on NBC Sports after the game: ‘€œThey’€™re in a perfect position to make a run in the playoffs. They’€™re a better team than they were last year. They have home-field advantage. They don’€™t have to worry about going on the road and facing Denver. They’€™ve got a healthy Rob Gronkowski, who’€™s the best tight end in all of football, and you’€ve upgraded at the cornerback position with Darrelle Revis.”

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Matt Patricia: Vince Wilfork’s 2014 return after Achilles’ injury ‘true testament to him as a professional’

12.29.14 at 12:38 pm ET
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Matt Patricia

Matt Patricia

Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia praised Vince Wilfork on a Monday morning conference call with the media, saying the fact that the veteran defensive lineman managed to come back from a season-ending Achilles’ injury in 2013 and play all 16 games in 2014 at a high level is a “true testament to him as a professional and to him as a football player.”

“I think you obviously can’€™t say enough great things about Vince Wilfork,” Patricia said of Wilfork, who finished the 2014 regular season with 818 defensive snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. “The guy is a tremendous team player. He’€™s a tremendous football player. He’€™s an incredible athlete for a guy that size. [It’€™s] amazing what he’€™s done to be able to come back and play and play at a high level and get himself ready to go for a full NFL season.

“But that’€™s the mark of a true professional. We get a lot of guys that get injured; in the offseason guys that have whether it’€™s surgeries or rehab or whatever it is. It’€™s a part of the deal of being an NFL football player,” Patricia added. “I don’€™t think anybody comes back from injury trying to get ready for half the season or a couple games or one game. I think they’€™re trying to put themselves in a good position to play and they understand that it’€™s a long season and they have to take care of their body. He certainly does all of that.

“Vince is great from off the field, on the field, the leadership in the classroom, studying opponents, trying to get better every week,” he added. “It’€™s just a true testament to him as a professional and to him as a football player.”

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